Frustrated with interruptions, debate panel looks at new rules

The day after a particularly messy and disorderly debate which featured frequent interruptions by President Donald Trump, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it was considering rules changes to deliver a more orderly debate process for the nation.


“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates,” the panel announced in a statement.


The announcement came after one of the most disjointed televised debates in modern political history, as President Trump from the outset seemed intent on disrupting Biden by interrupting his answers, and peppering the Democratic Party nominee with additional questions. Biden then returned the favor and interrupted the President as well.


“Shut up, man,” Biden said early on, as the President began talking over him.





The debate commission also signaled strong support for moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News, who struggled to keep order during the debate.


“The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates,” the statement noted.


One simple option would be a switch to turn microphones on and off, so that one candidate would not be able to impose himself on the other, during an answer.


At one point on Tuesday night, Wallace stopped the proceedings and pleaded with both Messrs. Trump and Biden, telling the President that he was responsible for a larger share of the interruptions.


“Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting,” Wallace said, chiding the President on national TV and radio.



Two debates between President Trump and Joe Biden remain on October 15 and October 22.


The next meeting in Miami, Florida, is already slated to be a town hall format, where voters are asking the majority of questions of the candidates.


Jamie Dupree, CMG Washington News Bureau

Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau

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